Violent crimes outpace property thefts across county

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SAN DIEGO — Although San Diego County saw more arrests made in connection with violent crimes between 2013 and last year, a slightly more dramatic decrease in property crime arrests led to a second consecutive drop in the region’s overall crime rate, according to an annual report released Monday.

Law enforcement officers throughout the county made 15,566 arrests for violent offenses such as murder, rape and assault in 2014 — 2 percent more than the year before, according to the San Diego Association of Governments’ report “Arrests 2014: Law Enforcement Response to Crime in the San Diego Region.”

The 11,524 arrests for property crimes including theft, burglary and arson reflected a 3 percent decrease during the same period.

Despite the slight increase in violent crime arrests, the region’s overall rate of 33.1 arrests per 1,000 residents was 3 percent lower than in 2013 and marked the second consecutive decline, according to the report. That translates into an average of 232 adults arrested in San Diego each day, down from 235 in 2013.

SANDAG’s Criminal Justice Research Division Director Cynthia Burke said the drop could stem from the passage of Proposition 47, which reduced penalties on certain crimes, but it was  too early to say definitively.

“Implementation of that measure began in the final quarter of 2014, and it resulted in many property-related crimes and drug-related crimes being reduced to misdemeanors,” Burke said.

Researchers found 10 percent fewer for felony-level drug and alcohol arrests, a 12 percent drop in felony-level property crimes and a 13 percent decrease in adult arrests for weapon-related crimes.

The report also noted a 19 percent decrease in minors being arrested for property crimes, along with an 8 percent decline in the overall juvenile arrest rate.


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